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I-Mei CEO urges standards on residue levels amid Taiwan's ractopamine controversy

Food tycoon Luis Ko provides advice on food safety in Taiwan

I-Mei Foods Co. CEO Luis Ko

I-Mei Foods Co. CEO Luis Ko (Taiwan News photo)

TAIPEI (Taiwan News) — I-Mei Foods Co. CEO Luis Ko (高志明) called for better regulation of ractopamine residues in products as he shared his decades of experience in promoting food safety in Taiwan at a seminar in Taipei on Wednesday (Dec. 9).

The event, held by the Consumers' Foundation, dealt with issues regarding the role of domestic food industry players in the international arena. A veteran of the country’s food sector, Ko reckoned that as a result of industrialization and urbanization, the world has seen natural resources depleted and ecologies jeopardized, leading to widespread pollution.

Meanwhile, to feed the ever-growing population, humans have turned to the use of pesticides to boost food production, further impacting the environment and all life on Earth. Food safety and food security can only be realized when environmental health and safety are achieved and eco-friendly agriculture is adopted, he stressed.

Ko took the opportunity to provide his insights into the government-imposed standards and inspection practices to safeguard food safety. “Inspection is a science, but sampling is an art,” he noted, elaborating that residues of particular substances can differ depending on where the sample is taken, and this should be taken into account when setting safety levels for pesticides, veterinary drugs, and radioactivity.

Concerning the topic of the Tsai administration’s relaxation on the import of American pork containing the feed additive ractopamine, Ko observed that the proposed labeling of the leanness-enhancing drug required for businesses can be challenging and hard to verify for consumers.

The issue should be addressed by implementing standards for residue levels of chemicals including ractopamine and ensuring the rules are rigorously enforced. The standards can be set drawing reference from foreign countries. Ko also advised sound border controls that ensure zero traces of ractopamine are detected in relevant imports.

Updated : 2021-12-07 11:56 GMT+08:00